I had completely forgotten that Karen Kwan skated to Close Without Touching in 1996, although the music sounded familiar. I did recall that Karen skated two lovely programs at U.S. Nats in 1996, placing 5th overall. Again thanks for the links.
After seeing both outfits/ programs, it seems to me that Karen's lovely skate as well as her costume were inspirations for Christina's program and costume. They also both have similar lines (long legs, and long expressive arms).
Re overuse of Carmen music, ITA. There are so many more interesting choices. It seems as if skaters/ coaches/ choreographers either don't know enough about music or they just tend to rely too much on the familiar and proven when it comes to music for skating.
I do enjoy V/M's unique interpretation which I agree goes beyond skin deep. Still too much Carmen has been used in figure skating.